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Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) - Brouwerij Het Anker

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Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue)Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue)

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1,627 Ratings
no score

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Ratings: 1,627
Reviews: 852
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 194
Gots: 262 | FT: 16
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Het Anker visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-03-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,627 | Reviews: 852 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jwc215
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Cage-corked bottle - Bottled on February 24, 2007 - Poured into glass chalice:

Pours deep brown with ruby highlights. A creamy tan head tops it off. It slowly descends and stays around. Awesome head retention for abv level. Some rings of frothy lacing stick to the glass.

The smell is of dark fruits - raisins and plums with dark cherries peeking through. Vanilla and chocolate intermingle. Spicy, earthy notes add to deep complexity.

The taste is of dark fruits that take turns coming through with dark cherries - super-complex fruitiness. Vanilla and vinuous notes weave in and out. Peppery spiciness fades in at out making this at times sweetish, at times spicy. Chocolatish maltiness becomes caramelish and toffeeish as it progresses. The flavors are incredibly layered, and converge so nicely. It is almost like reading a book. The f./lavors are delicate and complex, yet bold and lingering...Amazing - a work of art.

The feel is full and lush. Carbonation level is perfect. Long finish that is at once sweetish and spicy dryish.

Wow - what a treat. So smooth for abv level. The alcohol integrates itself so well that it is deceiving - very drinkable for abv level.
And the beer gods rejoice...

Thanks to Wasatch for the recommendation! One of the best beers I've had to date...

Photo of Halcyondays
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Beachwood BBQ, in Seal Beach, CA,

A: Pours a dark red/brown umber with a full white/tan head with good retention and good lacing.

S: Was actually not getting much until the beer warmed up, nice fruit and molasses, sugary malt.

T: Very tasty, I've only had this beer once before, but it is a great tasting BSDA. Great taste of dark fruit, raisin and prune, molasses and rum/brandy, very fruity and sweet, but not cloying at all, just a delicious, full beverage.

M: Smooth, full-bodied, good carbonation, though I would have liked a little richer mouthfeel.

D: This is one of the standards for this style, I think Charles V would be proud, a really good ale.

Photo of jeremytroy
4.04/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark maroonish red. An average sized off-white head dies down momentarily to a smaller head which stays around for a bit longer. Adequate lacing is left.

S - Lightly fruity and bitter. Not overwhelming, but complementary to the flavor. Something in the scent, especially after the lacing has faded, reminds me of cognac.

T - Dark and subtly fruity on the intake, slight bitterness and yeasty flavor in the swallow.

M - Thick and free from the carbonated feeling often associated with ales. Slight resistance in the swallow accompanying the bitter flavor.

Photo of Wasatch
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2006 Vintage

Poured into a chalice a brown/mahongy color, very nice carbonation (POP upon opening), nice creamy off-white head, nice creamy sticky lacing and small islands abound. The nose is malty, yeasty, lots of dark fruits, and caramel. The taste is absolutly delicious, sweet, malty, slight yeast tones, figs, raisins, plums, caramel. Nice little chewiness, smooth as hell, alcohol is hidden pretty well, nice warming effect. Full body, complex brew. Very drinkable, AWESOME brew, highly recommended.

Photo of brdc
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Large, corked and caged bottle, poured into a goblet.

Very dark reddish brown, although the ambient light is not the best, covered by a luscious fluffy tan head, and as you pour it, the rich aroma hit you like a train. Candy sugar, bubblegum, bananas (!?) and multiple other fruits including raisins, toffee and caramel.
Full bodied and creamy, with a light carbonation that just adds to the incredible mouthfeel, it is sugary, malty, toffee (mostly) and caramel, it has bublegum notes, fruity overtones (and bananas again ?!), yeasty hints and a spiciness coming and going on the background, particularly as it warms up, balancing it nicely. Eventually, even some herbal notes come in, and the finish is a bit drier than expected for all the sugary and malty notes.

Very, very impressive.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 750 picked up at Erickson's Fine Wines for $9.50 .... shared with Brenda ... mine poured into a Kasteel tulip .. chilling on my Friday, listening to Cowboy Junkies Live at the BBC.

Nice lite tan head that drops to a good collar and substantial lacing... Deep chesnut brew with beautiful dark ruby highlites when held to the light.

Aroma is deceptively complex .. alot of well hidden spice with brandy mascerated dark fruits... plums.. raisins.. figs.. and dark caramel.. smell is not as sweet as expected.

Flavor is amazing.. hugely complex profile.. a touch more spicy than the nose led me to believe. Tawny port notes without nearly as much booze... alcohol is there but only the tie that binds all these great spicy fruits together. Big plum and swelled prunes ... dried sweet cherries and a very present sweet cigar characteristic. Fairly thick viscosit.. with the perfect amount of carbonation.

I love this beer and always have access to it, but judging by notes, this only the 2nd time I've take the time to enjoy it... count on it (I am a label whore and am taken by shiny wrappings)... I will buy more, possibly many more.. and hopefully will be able to restrain myself to actually cellar some.

This is the type quality, that I will pull out of the cellar and give to some of my more micro-novice buddies and coworkers and proudly exclaim "This is what beer CAN taste like."

Photo of calsbeek
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml into a large bowled red wine glass.
Small tan had that dissipated after about a minute.
sharp carbonation gives a prickly mouth feel, effervescent.
Rich and complex flavors of dark fruit, caramel, raisins, fig with moderate chocolate undertones. Multidimensional to say the least.

A very nice example of the style reminiscent of Westvleteren 12.

Photo of Bookseeb
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Jaargang 2006, Appearance is a murkey brown with a thin off white head. Smell is soft with dark fruits, caramel and belgian yeast. Taste has a creamy richness to it that masks the alchohol quite well considering the ABV. Mouthfeel is creamy medium+ that goes down smooth with a slight bite of carbonation, making it one of the better belgian strong ales that I have tried.

Photo of StoutPiper
4.92/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I can't say this is my favorite beer, because (depending on what mood I'm in) I could feel a good Imperial stout is the best, and another day i crave a good hoppy IPA. But, if you want a belgian ale, this is the best beer I have ever had the pleasure of tasting.

I've only had it once, and i can't find it again, i got it somewhere in NJ, but it was an amazing experience. The beer poured a dark brown, with a respectable head, and lacing you would expect from a perfect belgian ale. the smell fits the beer, strong, spicy, nutty, cinnamon-y, it was a true experience.

The taste followed suit. It was borderline quadrupel, because it was such a bold taste, but i got everything from cherries to almonds out of it, the taste varying from sip to sip.

If i could find this beer again, i would buy several cases and drink it almost exclusively. Again, i cannot emphasize enough how much i enjoyed this beer. Worth a try or seven!

Photo of yinzer
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle, Vintage 2000, $9 somewhere in MD in 2006

appearance: deep mahogany, some particles in suspension, small head

smell: brown sugar, sweet malt

taste: pure liquid pleasure, cherries, brown sugar (but not as sweet as fresh), slight oxidized finish.

mouthfeel: a bit dusty on the finish, still full for it's age

drinkability: wish I had more of this year

Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into my new Duvel snifter.

A: Pours a murkey orange and brownish black with a one and a half inch tightly packed and constantly bubbly sandy brown head. The head dissipears into a ring in a mintue or two with a bit of lace on the glass.

S: Cherries dipped in carmel molasses and brown sugar with a yeasty funk undertone but not so much as to disturb the wonderfully indulgent fruit and sugar aromas.

T/MF: Carmel and brown sugar opening with that same cherry flavor in the middle but much more decadent this time as it tastes as if the cherries were dipped in brandy. The beer feels a bit viscous on the tongue, a bit greasy with a smooth finish aside from a bit of dusty yeast texture and a nice alcoholic heat that gives the lingering sensation of molasses on the tongue. The malt bitterness is low with the roof of the mouth left relativly unscathed with a mildly bitter hop presence that only tingles the back of the tongue.

D: Not a beer for a summer day that is for sure, an interesting beer to try and not bad at all, just very sweet and rich so it would be a good idea to share this bottle or buy a smaller one for personal use.

Photo of batlash
4.86/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I generally shy away from large bottles when trying something new, but took a chance on this (and found myself glad for doing so).

As soon as I popped the cork I caught the aroma of sweet, dark fruits and maybe even a hint of maple. A very rich air about this one. It pours a dark, reddish-brown with a modest head.

The taste is exactly what the aroma promises: lots of sweet malts and sugars with just enough hop presence to temper, but not obscure the sweetness. There's a slight hint of the 11% abv, but it's tantalizing, just enough to add warmth, but not overwhelm. The carbonation is just about right with just enough fizz to keep this from spilling over into barleywine territory. It's definitely rubs shoulders with the best Trappist and Trappist-style ales, but it reminds me in some ways of some of the English Harvest ales such as J.W. Lee's without the Port-like density.

This is an incredibly easy beer to drink (especially considering its strength) and a new favorite.

Photo of Onibubba
4.04/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Christmas Eve beer. Poured a very dark brown, reddish hues when held to the light. Very little head, even with an aggressive pour. What there was, was white and left some lacing. Potent aromas let me know that I am in for a pleasant evening. Sweet berries, figs, sugar and spice vie for my attention. No auslese wafts of alcohol getting in the way either. Very nice. These aromas are less evident in the taste. What is quite strong though is the overwhelming sweetness of this beer. Surprisingly, this is not a cloying sweetness, but fades rather quickly, leaving you ready for the next sip. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but does not detract. Drinkability is quite high considering the sweetness and the alcohol level. Wonderful stuff for a special occasion. One of the best sweet beers I have had the pleasure of drinking.

Photo of cmmprez
4.62/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Grand Cru of the Emperor '06
I don't like giving beers glowing reports, but this one deserves it.

Appearance - Dark, ruby hue. Light lacing. Dirty white head. Pretty straightforward..

Smell - Berry nose, inviting malt, candy sugar. Strong mouth watering aroma.

Taste - Sweet taste that crescendos across tongue. Aftertaste dries and fades nicely. It begs for another sip. Right up there with your very best Trappists.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Not sticky but doesn't need to be as the flavor is there. Gets you in the back of the throat with that Abbey Ale flavor (like tea spice).

Overall - A great beer. In league with Rochefort 10 and Westmalle Dubbel.

Photo of sabrills70
3.22/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

750ml corked and caged bottle with 2006 printed on the neck label. Poured a medium slightly hazy brown with a 1 finger head, OK longevity and lace. Aromas of candi sugar, sherry, dried fruits and somewhat yeasty and bready. The alcohol really comes through upon tasting. Its sweeter that I expected. Lots of sherry and dried fruit flavors but not as rich as is needed to tone down the 10% abv. If this beer was about 6 or 7% it would be awesome, but the alcohol is just too potent. It's going to be tough to down this 750 myself.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2005 vintage.

I cannot beleive this beer does not have more reviews! This is by far one of my favorite belgians. This beer pours a deep dark brown with little head ( this varies by vintage). The mouthfeel is incredibly smooth and creamy, by far the smoothest beer i have ever drunk at 10% abv. taste is typical of the het anker brewery, similar to the classic but much richer and warmer. impressively almost no alcohol on the finish. tastes of dark fruit and a tasty version of a strong french or belgian amber. This beer only improves with age and should be appreciated slowly ( as hard as that may be) in front of a warm fire on a cold night alone or with a very good friend. Zalig Genieten!

Photo of willjschmidt
4.77/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at The Trappist in Oakland in the proper Gouden Carolus glass.

A: Pours a murky brown with a thick white head. Lots of lacing and outstanding head retention.

S: Some brown sugar in the nose along with some ripe dark fruits. The alcohol is also rather apparent.

T: Lots of sweet overly ripe dark fruits such as raisins and figs. There is also some caramel, toffee, and maybe a little bit of molasses. It's very complex and a joy to sip. It is also very alcoholic. The alcohol nips at the end and slightly burns the back of the throat. It seems to mellow a bit as it warms.

M: Outstanding creamy mouthfeel with excellent carbonation.

D: A dinged it a bit on drinkability due to the alcohol. The delicious flavors make it an outstanding beer. A great brew for my 100th review.

Photo of Absumaster
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A slightly murky brown beer with a steady stream of carbonation rising to the top. A thin head that forms a ring against the glass.

Smell of lots of caramel and sweet candisugar with a fruity Belgian yeast profile, which gives some woody smells. I can also smell the alcohol, a sharp feeling in my nose. Hidden behind this is a solid malt base.

Taste is malty with strong sweet caramel and candisugar. The dark malt gives a mellow maltbitterness and adds to the complexity of the beer. The first sip I get a slap in the face of the pungent alcohol, but every following sip this gets less and the malt and full body draw away the attention. The yeast gives a fruity profile and reminds me of dark cherries. It is not the most abundant yeast profile I have come across, it does the job and gives light fruit and a little solvent. Also some spiciness, I think I can taste cumin, which is their usual choice, but it is very subdued and I am guessing. Body is medium to full and the beer is very sticky.

For me the alcohol content is way too much, what is the point of having 11% alcohol and let it cover by a huge sweet body? So for mouthfeel I took some points off, nevertheless a good beer.

Photo of russpowell
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 vintage, may have to go back grab a few more for aging

Pours a garnet hued chestnut with 4+ fingers of tan colored head into my Vondel chalice. Superior head retention & very good lacing, takes on viscous tendencies as it warms

S: Oaky with fruit (raisins, dates, figs) , leather notes, a bit of cherry,

T: Dry with chocolate, fruittyness, leather, vanilla, cherry & leafy hops up front. Oaky dryness asserts itself as this warms along with figs, molasses, raisins, a bit of booze warmth, some herbal hops, mint notes, & just bit of licorice

MF: Slick, with fairly low carbonation, starts to get chewy as this warms.

Drinks pretty good, dryness slowed me down a bit; for the complexity & abv, I believe you could lay this down at least 3 years no problem

If you like complex chewy Belgians, buy this, you won't be sorry

Photo of WYVYRN527
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, almost burnt walnut with almost no haze. The head is thin, but retains on the surface. The aroma is of rasins, caramel, and vanilla, with a hint of oak. Upon tasting, the beer begins with dark fruit. Prune, fig, and banana pour through. The finish is strong and sweet. with toffee and vanilla. This beer is full-bodied, strong, yet amazingly smooth. It's not what I expected. For it's strength, it is almost too easy to drink. I had to hold back from taking it all to myself. It's not for the beginner by any means. This is one that needs to be worked up to. It's definitely a beer that I will buy in future vintages. The bottle I had was from 2006, and it would probably hold up to at least another five to ten years of age.

Photo of Deuane
4.77/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2004 bottle: aged 3+ loving years in my cellar.

A - Ruby brown with a full tan head...laced nicely throughout

S - Whoa! Big wiff of Bourbon, Prune and leather. Very aromatic

T - Holy Cow...this is some beer. Deep rich dark fruit notes with undertones of bourbon...absolutely delicious.

M - Big, deep and rich. An absolute carnival in the mouth.

D - For an 11% beer I could carry around a snifter of this all day! Truly fantastic. I made sure to go out and purchase another bottle to let sit for a few years....will see if that one comes out as good..I hope so!

Photo of bodegajohn
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Bodega in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. Pours a dark amber with a short, creamy head. Nose is slightly spicy, notes of cinnamon and a faintly cloves. Decent mouth feel, thought not the same velvety smoothness of the bottled version. Good body. Nice clean finish. While this is better than 90% of the beers out there, the bottled version blows this away. That being said, still a great beer.

Photo of BeerNutta
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2005 Vintage

A = Poured into chalice with a deep dark brown colour and thin foam head.

S = Sweet rich smell of prunes and blackcurrant with a hint of alcohol.

T = Big malt flavour. You can also taste prunes and sultanas. Slight bitter finish. So so slight. Delicious.

M = Medium bodied with a warming alcohol finish that leaves you warm and satisfied. Amazing

D = Very VERY drinkable.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle with Jaargang 2007 on the label. Poured into a tulip glass, it was a pretty garnet color with a small white head. It had a pleasant dark fruit, spicy aroma. So far, so good. Downhill from there. It had a sweet, root beer taste. Noticeable alcohol, intrusive and medicinal. I had to work hard to finish the bottle.

I just had the 2008 version. I think I bought it without remembering my previous review. Which was a good thin, because this was far better than last year. The aroma was dark fruit and licorice. Taste was anise, dark fruit, and a good malt presence. Much more fun to drink.

Photo of hoppymeal
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 vintage. Pours a cloudy dark brown with amber hues, a medium sized light tan to cream head slowly recedes with minimal lacing. Aroma is sweet dark fruits, plums and raisins and overripe fruit. Also a softer sweetness of brown sugar and caramel, nice breadiness and hints of banana as well as some vinuous qualities like cherries, very complex. Outstanding aroma, at times there are some classic Belgian qualities while at others it is like a nice aged English barleywine, sweet and malty. Taste follows suit with strong aged barleywine characteristics of sweet dark fruits and caramel malts. Still some hoppiness in this vintage with some hints of crispness mixing with a bite of the alcohol strength. Medium to heavy in body, carbonation is low, but soft and creamy where present. Outstanding beer, very unique and quite complex, can’t wait to try some older vintages and see how it progresses.

Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
96 out of 100 based on 1,627 ratings.